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Re: [Xen-devel] [PATCH 4/4] hvmloader: add support to load extra ACPI tables from qemu

>>> On 26.01.16 at 12:44, <George.Dunlap@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 2:52 PM, Jan Beulich <JBeulich@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>>> On 21.01.16 at 15:01, <haozhong.zhang@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>> On 01/21/16 03:25, Jan Beulich wrote:
>>>> >>> On 21.01.16 at 10:10, <guangrong.xiao@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>>>> > c) hypervisor should mange PMEM resource pool and partition it to 
>>>> > multiple
>>>> >     VMs.
>>>> Yes.
>>> But I Still do not quite understand this part: why must pmem resource
>>> management and partition be done in hypervisor?
>> Because that's where memory management belongs. And PMEM,
>> other than PBLK, is just another form of RAM.
> I haven't looked more deeply into the details of this, but this
> argument doesn't seem right to me.
> Normal RAM in Xen is what might be called "fungible" -- at boot, all
> RAM is zeroed, and it basically doesn't matter at all what RAM is
> given to what guest.  (There are restrictions of course: lowmem for
> DMA, contiguous superpages, &c; but within those groups, it doesn't
> matter *which* bit of lowmem you get, as long as you get enough to do
> your job.)  If you reboot your guest or hand RAM back to the
> hypervisor, you assume that everything in it will disappear.  When you
> ask for RAM, you can request some parameters that it will have
> (lowmem, on a specific node, &c), but you can't request a specific
> page that you had before.
> This is not the case for PMEM.  The whole point of PMEM (correct me if
> I'm wrong) is to be used for long-term storage that survives over
> reboot.  It matters very much that a guest be given the same PRAM
> after the host is rebooted that it was given before.  It doesn't make
> any sense to manage it the way Xen currently manages RAM (i.e., that
> you request a page and get whatever Xen happens to give you).

Interesting. This isn't the usage model I have been thinking about
so far. Having just gone back to the original 0/4 mail, I'm afraid
we're really left guessing, and you guessed differently than I did.
My understanding of the intentions of PMEM so far was that this
is a high-capacity, slower than DRAM but much faster than e.g.
swapping to disk alternative to normal RAM. I.e. the persistent
aspect of it wouldn't matter at all in this case (other than for PBLK,

However, thinking through your usage model I have problems
seeing it work in a reasonable way even with virtualization left
aside: To my knowledge there's no established protocol on how
multiple parties (different versions of the same OS, or even
completely different OSes) would arbitrate using such memory
ranges. And even for a single OS it is, other than for disks (and
hence PBLK), not immediately clear how it would communicate
from one boot to another what information got stored where,
or how it would react to some or all of this storage having
disappeared (just like a disk which got removed, which - unless
it held the boot partition - would normally have pretty little
effect on the OS coming back up).

> So if Xen is going to use PMEM, it will have to invent an entirely new
> interface for guests, and it will have to keep track of those
> resources across host reboots.  In other words, it will have to
> duplicate all the work that Linux already does.  What do we gain from
> that duplication?  Why not just leverage what's already implemented in
> dom0?

Indeed if my guessing on the intentions was wrong, then the
picture completely changes (also for the points you've made
further down).


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